Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver
(Douglas County, Colo.) Douglas County residents surrendered over 800 pounds of expired or unused medication at the end of April for the National Drug Enforcement Administration’s annual National Drug Take Back Day.
Statewide, Coloradoans dropped off 14,319 pounds of medication to be properly disposed of or destroyed.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, partnered with the Highlands Ranch Metro District and Centennial Water, hosted a take-back event at the Highlands Ranch Sheriff’s substation, resulting in 638 pounds of medication.
The Castle Rock Police Department also hosted a drop-off location on April 30, where residents provided 176 pounds of expired and unused medications.
Drug overdose rates across America have risen substantially during 2021 and 2022, with many experts attributing the rise to the inclusion of fentanyl in many opioid drugs sold on the street, and has also been increasingly found in non-opioid drugs to help drug dealers stretch their product across more customers.
Destruction of unused or expired prescription medication is an important responsibility for patients. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, prescription drugs is the fastest rising category of drug misuse and abuse, especially among teenagers. The Administration further noted that two-thirds of teens who misused pain relievers in 2021 said they obtained the drugs from family or friends, including from medicine cabinets in their homes.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office maintains a household medication take-back program throughout the year. Items can be dropped off on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Highlands Ranch Substation, 9250 Zotos Drive, Highlands Ranch.
The office accepts prescription medications, samples, ointments, vitamins, medicated patches, unused inhalers and pet medications. Illicit drugs, marijuana, bloody or infectious waste, thermometers and other items are prohibited. A full list is available on the Sheriff’s website at dcsheriff.net/community/pharmaceutical-drop-off-locations/.
Castle Rock Police also accept unused or expired medication throughout the year, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Department’s lobby, 100 Perry St., Castle Rock.